Hardware & Software: Pots and Pans, Beyond The Essentials

The Basics Plus

Hardware & Software: Pots and Pans, Beyond The Essentials

The Basics Plus

You should customize your kitchen with cookware that suits what and how you cook as well as how much storage space you have. Choose wisely or you'll find yourself cursing the crepe pan that's always dusty and in the way.

See our article about the basic pieces every kitchen should have.  This article is about adding cookware beyond the basics, the additional pots, pans, skillets, and special purpose cookware that can significantly enhance the pleasure and success of your cooking.  For pans you'll use regularly, basic or not, buy the best you can afford and think of your investment in terms of per-use.  For any special purpose pots and pans that you'll use less often, you can avoid paying top dollar.

 

Tip:  Consider buying a less expensive stock pot that's light weight because of how we typically use these big pots: when it's full of water or another hot liquid, it's very heavy so buy one that's light when empty.

Tip: Cast iron is not good for high acid foods like tomato sauce because the acid and iron react to each other.

Tip: A crepe pan can be non-stick or carbon steel; carbon steel has to be seasoned but when it is, the pan becomes more versatile than a non-stick because it can go in a very hot oven.  

Tip: some consider a roasting pan a basic but aside from a turkey, there's not much you can't just as easily cook in a 12" fry pan or a 4 quart sauté pan.  For that matter you can put a flat rack on a rimmed sheet pan and cook a turkey that way.  I only use my roasting pan about once a year and if I had to do it over again, I probably wouldn't buy one.

 

For city cooks, beautiful cookware is an ever-tempting purchase.  Before you buy, think about how often you'll use a piece and where you'll keep it.  Then by all means, build your kitchen arsenal. 

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Zabar'sSur la TableCookwareWilliams-Sonoma

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